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Jonathan Wickham: Everything You Need to Know about Google’s Latest Algorithm Update

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Developed in the early 1990s, search engines are systems that search for and identify information on the web.

Originally, search engines operated by web crawling and indexing. Searches were performed using keywords. With these keywords, search engines extracted search engine results pages (SERPS).

Search engines continued to develop through the ‘90s from Archie (the very first search program) to the search engines of today, including Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Ask.com.

Google and its Strategy

In 1996, Google established itself as a leading search engine. Before Google came along, other engines just looked at content. Google, however, started using links as a core metric.

Unfortunately, people took advantage of this by creating tons of low quality links with exactly matching anchor text. Low quality linking and other less ethical search engine optimization (SEO) techniques allowed one to manipulate search engine results in order to be on the first SERP. To combat this, search engines now use complex algorithms to speed up the information-seeking process. Google also started rolling out regular algorithm updates.

Google updates were initially called “Panda” updates. They combated spammers and low quality user interfaces. In the past two years Google has released their series of “Penguin” updates, as follows:

  • Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012 (impacting around 3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 2 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012 (impacting around 0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 4 (AKA Penguin 2.0) on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 5 (AKA Penguin 2.1) on October 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 6 (AKA Penguin 3.0) on October 21, 2014 (impacting less than 1% English queries)

Lessons Learned from Penguin Updates

There have been several things we’ve learned from both the Panda and Penguin updates. So, if your business is going to thrive in an online setting, we highly recommend paying attention.

Old School SEO is NEVER COMING BACK
Old school SEO is all about manipulating or tricking Google. It’s about knowing how to get the search engine to rank you highly, even if it is undeserved. Trick tactics include low quality link building and keyword stuffing.

Google penalizes these tactics big time. More importantly, people are smart and they are getting smarter. They know when they are being duped or fed a lot of poor content. Naturally, Google wants to serve their customers by providing the most helpful and pertinent sites to users. That is what is expected and required of a good search engine and that is why Google continues to take measures to banish old school SEO.

Inbound Tactics are the Future of Online Marketing
Now that you know Google updates are all about focusing on the user and ensuring they find the best content and brands, you need make sure you are a strong and reliable presence on the web by demonstrating that you are an authority in your field and that customers can trust you.

Essentially, you need to draw customers to you by proving to them—and Google—that doing business with you is a good choice. How do you prove yourself? By building a brand and content that your customers can trust and depend on.

And how do you build your brand and content? Through inbound marketing tactics, such as:

  • Content marketing (blog posts, eBooks, white papers, etc.)
  • Social media
  • Website design
  • Great website messaging
  • Lead nurturing
  • Innovate or Get Left In the Dust

The worst thing a business can do is engage with another SEO company to try and rank higher with search engines or fix their organic web search penalty. SEO companies will only hurt and hinder you.

Your competitors are learning from Google’s updates and are improving their strategy with inbound marketing. To put it bluntly, you must do the same thing or you will be left in their dust.

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